Motorcycle ace Price second in Dakar Rally

Australian Toby Price has come agonisingly close to taking the Dakar Rally motorcycle event in Saudi Arabia.

Holding the lead going into the final stage, Price was beaten into second place on Sunday, finishing 43 seconds behind Argentine rider Kevin Benavides.

Benavides, the 2021 champion on two wheels, won the final 14th stage to Dammam for Red Bull KTM with teammate Price 55 seconds behind.

American Skyler Howes finished third overall for the Husqvarna factory team.

With the starting order for the final stage based on reverse overall classification, Benavides was 89th to set off and Price followed three minutes later in 90th on the road.

Mud at 29km caused some riders to get stuck but Benavides and Price got through without incident.

Price, a two-time Dakar winner, slipped to fourth before fighting his way back into the stage.

"The first point is disappointment. We've come so far, but look, Kevin's done a great job," said Price, who had to turn back for two missed waypoints that cost him the race.

"Hard to take at the moment, but at the end of the day I'm going home in one piece and we got a Dakar trophy. It hurts a little bit."

Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah won the car crown for the fifth time.

Al-Attiyah, the reigning champion for Toyota with co-driver Mathieu Baumel, finished the final 14th stage to Dammam on the Gulf coast with a lead of an hour and 20 minutes over France's nine-times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb.

The Qatari, who led from stage three as rivals hit trouble, now ranks second in the list of all-time winners in the car category behind eight times champion Stephane Peterhansel of France.

Frenchman Alexandre Giroud won the quadbike title for the second year in a row.

- with Reuters